The Macomb County Republicans did it again.
After suffering 15 months of embarrassment for their role in electing the eccentric Republican Karen Spranger as county clerk in 2016, on Tuesday the Macomb GOP nominated Spranger’s political ally and former campaign manager to challenge County Executive Mark Hackel in the fall.
Joseph Hunt, who led Spranger’s ’16 campaign, such as it was, won the Republican primary for executive by a wide margin, 55.8 percent to 44.2 percent, over a relatively unknown candidate, Norbert Golombiewski of Sterling Heights.
Like Spranger, Hunt is a political gadfly from Warren. In recent years, he has run and lost four times in elections for various offices: Warren City Council, city clerk, mayor (as a write-in) and county public works commissioner.
One of the allegations that arose during the county’s 2017-18 investigation of Spranger’s official residence was a claim that Hunt provided cover for her by letting Spranger live with him at his Warren home. Spranger’s home was uninhabitable.
Shortly after taking office in January 2017, Spranger tried and failed to get Hunt a county job as an administrator. About that time, Hunt became part of the first of Spranger’s many controversies before a judge removed her from office.
It was discovered by county IT officials that Hunt was one of two Spranger friends, neither employed by the county, who were given access by the clerk to her county computer network, including access to numerous files. As a result, officials banned Spranger from all computer use for two months.
Although Hunt consistently served as her campaign manager in the ’16 election season, it’s unclear what that job entailed. After she won election that November, the final finance report Spranger filed with the county showed that she had spent $136 on her entire countywide campaign, beginning with her victory in the August GOP primary.
Photo: Macomb Daily